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Starting with a Story

by Ruth Stotter
September/October 2000
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/starting-with-a-story/5013553/

"Once upon a time. . . ." "In the beginning. . . ." It takes only a few words to be transported to the magical world of story. Traditional storytelling has been called "theatre of the mind" - each audience member pictures in his or her own imagination the story's characters, scenery, objects, and action.

Storytelling can be an ideal strategy to introduce creative dramatics. It helps, of course, if the stories have engaging story lines, interesting characters, humor, and suspense. Engaged in this playful, non-judgmental activity, children will experiment playing the roles of animals and people by changing their vocal pitch, facial expression, body language, and even by creating original dialogue.

When you incorporate storytelling and creative drama, you are helping children:

n Have opportunities to express themselves orally

n Learn to convey a sequence of events

n Learn to organize and express ideas clearly

n Gain experience in retaining information

n Develop a sense of playing to an audience

n Learn to appreciate word choice and styles of communication

n Gain self-esteem; storytelling is a legitimate way to be looked at and listened to

n Learn basic acting skills

n Work with entertaining texts that have the potential to enhance understanding of other lifestyles and world views

n Escape to the land of enchantment and adventure

n Have fun

Before introducing stories for ...

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